Oldsmar Cares breaks ground on new 3,000-sq.ft. headquarters

Oldsmar Cares officials sling the first shovelfuls of dirt during the groundbreaking ceremony for the nonprofits new 3,000-sq.ft. headquarters on Friday, June 17, 2017. (Credit: Oldsmar Cares)

Oldsmar Cares officials held a groundbreaking ceremony last week for the nonprofit’s new headquarters on State Road 580.

The 3,000-sq.ft. facility, which will be constructed adjacent to the charity’s current home, is expected to be completed later this year at an estimated cost of $300,000.

In a testament to the importance of the 20-year-old organization to the community, Friday’s ceremony was attended by several state and local officials, including Oldsmar Mayor Doug Bevis and Vice-Mayor Dan Saracki, Senator Jack Latvala, Congressman Gus Bilirakis and Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri.

An artist’s rendering of the new 3,000-sq.-ft. Oldsmar Cares headquarters, which is expected to cost roughly $300,000 and be completed in December 2017. (Graphic courtesy David Wallace and Associates.)

Following speeches by several of the attendees and a champagne toast, Oldsmar Cares board members tossed the first shovelfuls of sand where the new building will stand.

“Building this new Oldsmar Cares facility is truly a community achievement,” David Wallace, longtime OC board member and architect of the new building, told Oldsmar Connect.

Oldsmar Cares board member David Wallace at the organization’s 2017 Wine and Food Gala.

“The support we receive—from the senior citizen that walks several blocks to bring two cans of soup to the people that send in a check every month to the companies that have pledged $10,000 to $75,000—we say thank you from the bottom of our hearts.”

According Wallace Oldsmar Cares provided food, clothing and social services to more than 4,000 residents last year, and the organization simply outgrew its current home years ago.

“Right now, when we get 16 or 17 people in our little lobby, it is havoc,” Wallace said during a City Council meeting in April.

“The idea is for us to have our own home that we can enjoy and we can better serve the public that we serve.”

City officials showed support for the organization by agreeing to a sweetheart of a lease agreement—40 years at $10 per year, with the property reverting to city ownership should the nonprofit fold.

During the groundbreaking ceremony, representatives of several businesses and organizations made donations that not only covered the lease, but also put a sizable deposit in the organization’s fundraising efforts for the new facility.

Oldsmar Cares officials prepare to break ground on the organization’s new 3,000-sq.ft. headquarters on Friday, June 17, 2017. (Credit: Oldsmar Cares)

“An official from MicroLumen offered to pay 10 years of the lease with a $100 donation, and then three more people followed suit,”  Mayor Bevis told Oldsmar Connect.

“So the lease is paid off, and we will draw up a document and present it to Oldsmar Cares officials sometime in the near future.”

Oldsmar Mayor Doug Bevis at the Oldsmar Cares groundbreaking ceremony on Friday, June 17, 2017. (Credit: Oldsmar Cares)

Bevis added other business leaders made donations totaling $30,000 during the ceremony, making for a very special evening.

“It was really nice,” he said. “I was glad to be a part of it, along with Gus and Jack and Sheriff Gualtieri.”

Wallace said he was appreciative of the overwhelming show of support.

“This enormous endeavor is possible only with the service, commitment and financial support of many individuals and companies,” he said.

“I can’t thank everyone enough for coming together today to show their support for our community.”

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